The Last Word: Aubrey O’Day Paid $500k to Pose Nude, Voletta Wallace Talks Lil’ Kim, Amy Winehouse with a Clothing Line, Rihanna and Chris Brown Engaged?

What’s life like, world travelers? It’s the first official

Word for the ‘09 and the war in Gaza and NFL playoffs are going strong, Arizona

Gov. Bill Richardson vacates his nomination for a spot on Obama’s cabinet amid

questions over shady dealings and Capital Hill deads Roland Burris’ quest to

take the President-elect’s Senate seat. Add to that Hustler magazine owner Larry Flynt and Girls Gone

Wild founder Joe Francis writing a letter

to Congress to request a $5 billion bailout for the porn industry and you have

another five days to soak up.

 

R.I.P. to Oscar Grant, who lost his life too soon to yet

another senseless bout of police brutality. Prayers that justice will be

served. Shout out to the sounding boards for already shining in ’09.

 

This all brings me to…the Last Word for the week ending Jan.

9, 2009

 

1.  Mariah

Carey Celebrates New Year $1 Million Ways; Gets Made Up for Art

 

Ah, the New Year. That time where we make resolutions to

lose weight, quit whatever vice we have, pay our debts and make more money. And

the stars are no different. Look at Mariah Carey, who got a jump-start on

everybody as she got royally paid recently.

The Sun reports that

Carey collected $1 million for putting in a hard night’s work performing four

songs at a private New Year’s Eve party for the son of Libyan dictator Colonel

Gaddafi.

 

Not only did partygoers bring in the ‘09 with Mimi, but also

Jay-Z and Timbaland made cameos to make it a celebration to remember at the

Nikki Beach Club on Caribbean island St Barts. Even Beyoncé showed up for the

occasion, but she reportedly did not take the stage with Jigga.

 

And if that isn’t enough, Mariah made such an impression on

Jason Mecier that the mosaic portrait artist put his talent to use by creating

a portrait of Mrs. Cannon from various make-up products like lipstick, nail

varnish bottles and eyeliner. That makes perfect sense, considering we have

never seen Mariah Carey without make-up. Do we even want to?

 

2. Voletta Wallace Shares Notorious Memories of Angela

Bassett, Gravy and Lil’ Kim

 

With a week to go before the highly anticipated Biggie

Smalls biopic Notorious hits the big

screen, fans are counting down the days to see if the movie does justice to the

legend of Christopher Wallace. For the rapper’s mother, Voletta Wallace, there

was only one person she wanted to play her in the film.

 

“…If there was anyone who was going to play Voletta Wallace,

I wanted Angela Bassett,” she told Essence.com. “I read the script and sent it

out to her on tape to get my accent down pat. She was very gracious and humble,

and I was honored to have her.”

While Ms. Wallace adored Bassett, the real test came with

the actor who would play her son, Jamal “Gravy” Woodard. The concern instantly

became a moot point upon her first meeting with the entertainer.

 

“When he walked into the room, his whole demeanor was

Christopher and I knew. I was in the corner and he never saw me and I said,

‘That’s my son there,’” said Wallace who didn’t need to see anybody else for

the role. “There were days I had goose bumps just watching him. I was always

close to my son and now I’m close with Jamal for the respect that he had for my

son. Believe me, to fill Christopher’s shoes wasn’t easy. That’s a size 13.”

 

Judging by the previews and commercials, Notorious looks to be an interesting peek inside the world of

B.I.G. And while reports have surfaced of Lil’ Kim’s criticism of the project,

Ms. Wallace expressed a desire to chat with the rapstress about the

relationship she shared with Biggie.

 

“I would love to speak to Lil’ Kim, because I need to ask

more about this love relationship because I really didn’t like the way he

treated her and I’m praying that that’s not it,” said Wallace. “Only she can

answer those questions. She’s a sweet girl and I didn’t think she deserved to be

treated the way he treated her, if that’s the case.”

 

Judge for yourself how B.I.G. treated Lil’ Kim when Notorious hits theaters Jan. 16.

 

3. Amy Winehouse, fashion designer?

 

Let’s see. You’ve put out two critically acclaimed albums,

notched five Grammys and spent 2008 keeping drug dealers and tabloid

photographers and writers gainfully employed. What’s the next thing to conquer?

Fashion, of course.

 

And Amy Winehouse knows it. Media sources report the

embattled songstress is in negotiations with Fred Perry to design clothes for

the clothing brand. Winehouse, who is known to wear Fred Perry shirts, seems to

be serious about this as she has a few designs already sketched and ready to

show.

 

The singer made her feelings known recently as she

reportedly told anyone who would listen about her fashion dreams in a hotel bar

in St Lucia. While no information on when the line will launch is available,

bets will placed on whether or not Winehouse even remembers having the

conversation about a potential clothing line when the time comes. Hey, if it

keeps her in rehab, let’s all buy a shirt!

 

4. Tyrese Invites Fans Into His “Love Circle”

 

With this summer’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen coming into theaters, it looks to be a nice 2009 for

one Tyrese Gibson, who returns to the big screen with the warring Autobots and

Decepticons. And why not add to the imminent success by lending a helping hand

to music and movie fans that have been in his corner?

WENN reports the entertainer is adding to his string of

accomplishments with a new telephone hotline. The new venture will allow fans

to call 818-287-8968 to register to receive words of wisdom from Gibson.

 

“It’s a free number. I’m not making any money off of it,”

admitted the former model, who called the new hotline the “love circle.” “When

I have advice and information and anything that’s going on in my life, I’m able

to call this number and verbally leave a message, which goes directly into my

fans’ in-box on their cell phones.”

 

Although he doesn’t know what his next message will be,

Gibson shared that what he says “always comes from a real place as he is quick

to point out that the love circle is his way of  “telling the fans thank you for the years of supporting me

and all my career moves.”

 

“I can’t cut a check and pay everybody’s bills, but I can

give people knowledge and information that I have that’s contributed to my

success,” the model/actor/musician stated. It’s a crapshoot though whether or

not you will be receiving messages from Tyrese or Black Ty on any given day.

 

5. Beyoncé Enlists YouTube for Obsessed Research

 

Playing an embattled and drug addicted singing icon in Cadillac

Records may have caught fans off guard, but

Beyoncé shows no signs of playing it safe as she portrays a the wife of a man

who is stalked by a woman he works with in the upcoming film Obsessed.

 

If the film’s trailer is any indication, then we’ll be

seeing another side of Bey when she takes on the stalk to protect what she has.

To tap into her inner hulk, Mrs. Carter prepped by watching videos of women

battling one another on YouTube.

 

“We did look at girl fights on YouTube,” the film’s director

Steve Shill told WENN. “There’s a lot of hair pulling, shouting, and rolling

around on the ground. We didn’t really want to do that.” I’m sure men

everywhere will disagree with that decision. Obsessed hits theaters this April.

 

6. Aubrey O’Day Gears Up for Rumored Playboy Close-Up

 

Not one to rest on her laurels, former Danity Kane member

Aubrey O’Day is already striking while the iron is hot with a rumored

appearance in Playboy magazine.

 

According to reports, the singer allegedly received $500,000

for doing a naked photo shoot for the publication. The offer to pose, which

came from Playboy founder Hugh Hefner,

seemed to be too good to refuse, a source told the New York Daily

News.

 

“Aubrey’s making about $500,000 to drop trou. For that kind

of money, she was like ‘Why not?’” the source said about the diva, who created

a buzz for her au natural self after posing sexy for Complex magazine. As it stands now, neither Playboy nor reps for O’Day are confirming the shoot, which

may feature several lion cubs. The cubs will be nicknamed D Woods, Aundrea,

Shannon, and Dawn.

 

In Other Words…

 

*  Make way for

India.Arie. The Grammy-winning singer is gearing up for the release of her new

upcoming album, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics. The follow-up to Arie’s 2006 opus Testimony: Vol.

1, Life and Relationship will feature the Musiq Soulchild-assisted “Chocolate

High” as well as “Therapy” with Gramps Morgan. Both singles are available now

on iTunes. Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics is slated to hit stores Feb. 10.

 

* This year’s NAACP Image Awards looks to be wide open for

Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys. The women are nominated for

outstanding female music artist and for best music video as well as supporting

film actress. Bey could take the film award home for her work in Cadillac

Records while Keys and Hudson are in

contention for their respective work in The Secret Life of Bees. Best picture nominees include Cadillac

Records and The Secret Life of

Bees as well as Miracle at St.

Anna, Seven Pounds and Tyler Perry’s the Family That Preys.

 

* With a bunch of films to his credit, you would think that

Spike Lee is swimming in dough. But to hear the filmmaker tell it, he’s in

shallow water compared to other entertainers. “It’s not rich rich,” he told

Britain’s Observer. “Rich is Spielberg.

Lucas. Gates. Steve Jobs. Jay-Z. Bruce Springsteen. I’m not complaining. But

that’s money. Will Smith. Oprah Winfrey – that’s a ton of money. Compared

to them, I’m on welfare.”

 

* Will Chris Brown and Rihanna jump the broom? Things seem

to point in that direction as the rumor mills is in full swing over pictures of

Ri-Ri sporting a big diamond ring on her wedding finger. Rihanna was also seen

with said accessory at Elton John’s New Year’s Eve party at the O2 Arena in

London. Needless to say the rock commanded its own attention among the party

people.

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